Nickerson on podium in impressive Mosport effort
(HAMILTON, Ont. / JULY 15, 2010) Steven Nickerson picked up second and fifth place finishes in the fourth and fifth rounds of the Amateur Sport Bike class of the Parts Canada Superbike Championship at Mosport International Raceway.
In both 12-lap races around Mosport's fast and challenging 3.957km road course the rider of the STN Racing / DeWildt Honda Powerhouse Honda CBR600RR was one of the few competitors able to take the fight to series leader and fellow Honda rider Raphael Archambault.
In Saturday's opening race of the doubleheader the Hamilton, Ont. racer finished just 0.105 secs. behind Archambault. On Sunday he again crossed the line right behind Archambault but a five-second penalty for a jump start dropped Nickerson to fifth in the results.
The 15-year-old Nickerson started on the front row for both races. He set the fourth fastest time in Thursday afternoon practice, a 1:28.513, and after Friday qualifying was rained out the Thursday times were used to set the grid for the two races.
Nickerson got a poor start on Saturday and found himself seventh entering turn one, but by half distance he had clawed his way up to second and began battling Archambault for the lead. It was a fight between the 2008 Honda CBR125R Challenge champion (Archambault) and the 2009 series titlist (Nickerson).
"I caught up to Raphael and tried some passes but he held his line perfectly and didn't let me past," said Nickerson, whose fastest lap of 1:26.390 was slightly better than Archambault's quickest. "I knew that I would have to make a last lap pass to try and beat him. I tried the outside of corner eight and got beside him and tried to hold my line for [turn] nine, but he got past and I ended up in second place." On Sunday Nickerson was at the front from the start and again hounded Archambault relentlessly, turning his fastest lap of the weekend, a 1:26.128.
"I tried some passes but he always regained the lead," Nickerson explained. "I didn't know until the end of the race that I had a jump start."
Despite the penalty Nickerson jumped up to third in the Amateur Sport Bike standings with 142 points. Although Archambault has virtually wrapped up the 2010 title, Nickerson is just 18 points behind Jeremie Hade Precourt for second place in the rankings heading into the season ending doubleheader at Atlantic Motorsport Park in Shubenacadie, N.S. Aug. 6-8.